• Hughes had finally closed his eyes to soak in the pain as Seth kneeled beside him, crying out to him.

    “Ow……don’t yell at me! I’m right here.” He joked.

    “Hughes…..hang on I’ll go get Sarah. She can patch this up for sure.”

    “Don’t be stupid Niclas, you and I both know I’m done for. Just leave it.”
    Seth widened his eyes from the words of his friend. He bowed his head and shook it.

    “Now you’re just being ridiculous, a child who can’t come to terms with the truth so he pushes it away.”

    Seth then looked up at his friend, his sky blue eyes silently begging.
    Hughes starred back at him for a moment than coldly looked away, “I hate those eyes, those hopeless, despicable eyes. Don’t look at me with those disgusting eyes.”

    Seth looked away. “I’m sorry,” he whispered.

    Hughes then looked back at him after a moment to stare at his profile. He had never noticed it but Seth had let his hair grow out to be a shaggy dirty blonde mop atop his head, his once white skin now pinkish from working out in the desert sun. He also wore a shirt sewn by the desert people with the sleeves rolled up and neatly tucked into his blue pants. His chest was crossed with belts that symbolized his connections with the government, and his eyes, his striking ocean like eyes that once sang a song of strong determination and everlasting dreams, were now pathetic and hopeless. Seth had slowly changed over the years in style and personality, but it wasn’t until now that Hughes had realized it. “How is it that I’ve become more like you and you have become more like me?”

    Seth smiled at his friend. “What are you blathering on about?”

    “I mean how did you go from on top of the world when I first met you to broken as I was once?”

    Seth had nothing to say. He only looked away and hid his shame. Hughes struggled to move his hand, slowly dragging it across the sand to reach into his pocket. As Seth turned to see what he was doing, Hughes pulled a silver pendant from his pocket and struggled to hand it to Seth. Seth reached for it and studied it for a second before asking what it was.

    “That pendant is called The Pendant of Seidh, it plays as a compass when it’s placed near The Galileo. It has other abilities that I never had a chance, or more like never cared, to figure out. It’s also one of the items that are known to transcend time. The Stenngle family passes it from guardian to guardian as a symbol of maturity and leadership. My grandfather gave it to my mother when she was seventeen and I got it when I was only ten. I’ve been head of my family since then and here I am now. I want to give it to you, leaving you guardian of the Galileo. It’s one of my dying requests.”

    Seth starred at the Pendant. He couldn’t seem to grasp what his friend was saying and when it finally sunk in he choked. “What are you saying? I can’t take it. I’m not part of your family. Also, you’re not dying, so stop messing around and get up. Sarah’s waiting.”

    Hughes closed his eyes and began to breath heavy. “My…..my second dying wish…it’s for Sarah. Tell her not to cry for me…instead celebrate. Tell her….tell her to dance for me as the gypsies do. Tell her to smile and sing for me…because…because if I leave and she’s unhappy….I…I can never be at peace.”

    Seth grabbed his friend’s arm who started to gasp for air.

    With his last bit of strength, Hughes reached for Seth’s shirt and dragged him close to him. “Niclas…and don’t…don’t let the Galileo fall…fall into an enemy’s hands. It….it’s the key…to finding…the Hero of old….as well as… as well as her people. Guard it….with your life….as I did…or...my death would be….for shame.”

    Hughes opened his eyes, revealing that he lost his sight and let go of Seth’s shirt, letting his arm drop as his body went numb.

    Seth silently sat next to him letting the words soak in, as Hughes slowly stopped breathing. When Seth was sure he was gone he let go of his arm and staggered to his feet. Feeling dizzy and drunk he began to walk towards the city that was still in flames. He couldn’t find the tears to weep for his loss, nor could he find the courage to face Sarah or continue his journey. It had always been his dream to find the Hero of old but it was Hughes that got him to search for her. The master mind and true leader of the expedition had always been Hughes. Now that he was gone, how would Seth continue? Unaware of it he had clumsily dragged the Galileo behind him as he walked into the city in a zombie state. A group of the survivors that stayed behind to fight watched him as he walked toward them and collapsed. They ran to aid him.